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Lorenzo Lands First Row at Circuit of The Americas

Lorenzo COTA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi secured third and fourth place respectively in qualifying this afternoon for tomorrow‘s Grand Prix of the Americas.

With only 15 minutes to put in a hot lap at the long Circuit of The Americas (COTA), there was no time to waste for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates.

Lorenzo was the first out of the box and took provisional pole with his first flying lap of 2‘03.505, before the field pushed him back down to sixth place. On his next lap he dropped under the 2‘03 mark with a 2‘02.927, moving up to second, before he returned to the pits for a new set of rubber. With five minutes left of the session he rejoined the track for a final time attack. Bettering his time through all sections he reclaimed the top spot with a 2‘02.540, before being pushed back to third, 0.405s from the front in the final seconds of the session. He will start tomorrow‘s race from the end of the first row.

Teammate Rossi was also quick on the pace, with his first flying lap bettering his personal best to a 2‘03.170, momentarily taking pole before dropping down the order to fourth place. He had a wobble on his next lap, which cost him valuable time. He quickly headed back to his pit box for a fresh set of tyres with five and half minutes left on the clock. After a minute he came back out and picked up the pace even further, closing in to 0,033 from his teammate with a 2‘02.573. As he was unable to improve his starting position on the grid on his last lap, he will start his challenge tomorrow heading the second row.

Jorge Lorenzo

3rd / 2’02.540 / 6 laps

“Qualifying was very exciting as always. The positions were changing a lot and we tried the maximum, even with not the best physical conditions. For one lap it was not so bad, I could give a maximum effort to ride this lap time. I was really satisfied with this time and position, I didn‘t expect to make the top five. Let‘s see what the weather is like tomorrow. Personally I prefer a dry race, but a wet race would be better for my physical condition. I am very happy that the Yamaha is becoming better in this track. We didn‘t have a lot of time, so we don‘t exactly know what our pace is like. The front tyre wears down very quickly on the right side, just like last year. Let‘s see in a dry race how it performs. I feel so-so at the moment. The antibiotics are doing their job, but I need to be in a perfect condition for tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi

4th / 2’02.573 / 6 laps

“I‘m happy because the second row was my target and I think that with a better lap I could have stayed on the first row, because we are very close to Jorge and Dovizioso. Second row is not a bad place for the start, also because we have a quite good pace. For sure we have to work and help the front tyre, where we have some issue, and after that the weather will be very important. It was supposed to rain today, but fortunately it was dry. We hope the weather remains the same tomorrow. Last year there was a bigger difference to Marc‘s pace, this is very positive, but he remains the favorite for the race tomorrow. After him there‘s me, Jorge and Dovi very close in terms of rhythm.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“In general today went well. First row is always a good place to start the race from. Considering Jorge‘s condition he did a great job and also Vale starting from second row is good. Even though we are satisfied about the results of qualifying, we still have some work to do. The technicians are trying to find some improvements to test in tomorrow‘s warm up. We feel positive that we can refine the set-up and we are confident in the capabilities of both our riders. The only thing we don‘t know is what the weather will be like. We have to be prepared for both a wet and a dry race.”

Espargaro and Smith confident and prepared for COTA race

Pol Espargaro will commence his second Americas Grand Prix on the Yamaha YZR-M1 from the rear of the third row after undertaking a thorough qualifying effort today in Texas. The young Spaniard opened his Saturday account positively by finishing in 6th position in FP3, with a lap of 2’03.773. This performance saw him elevate instantly through to Q2 as the weather threatened rain which then failed to fall. Once the qualifying practice began, Espargaro launched into action and undertook 7 laps before setting a 2’03.161 on his last. Impressively, this time was a massive improvement of over seven tenths of a second from last year’s qualifying. After a positive weekend so far, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider will be seeking to battle to a strong result in tomorrow’s 21 lap dash in America.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Bradley Smith will start round 2 of the MotoGP World Championship one place behind his teammate in 10th. The 23 year old began his day with a bright sprint to 5th position in FP3 with a top time of 2’03.666 which was a mere two hundredths of a second back from 3rd place. This left the British star confident of a successful Q2 campaign, yet unfortunately he experienced a technical issue on his MotoGP bike at the start of the session which forced him to make a pit stop and then change to his second Yamaha which was equipped with a used front tyre. Despite this, Smith pushed onwards before finishing with a best lap of 2’03.440. Tomorrow he will attempt to replicate his performance of last year at the Circuit Of The Americas, where he finished in 5th and as the leading Yamaha.

Pol Espargaro

9th / 2’03.161 / laps

“To be honest I am not at all satisfied with our qualifying result as we managed to solve all of the issues that we faced this morning and the bike was good. However, I made a mistake on my fast lap and ran straight on. After that, I was able to improve my lap time but the tyre wasn’t fresh anymore and that unfortunately makes a huge difference at this track. I have nobody to blame as it was my own fault, but for sure starting from the back of the third row won’t make things any easier tomorrow. Nevertheless we must remain confident as the race is long and also the weather forecast is not clear as of yet.”

Bradley Smith

10th / 2’03.440 / 7 laps

“It goes without saying that I’m disappointed to finish today in 10th. We had some technical troubles during FP4 and we couldn’t fix them in time for QP 2. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to stop to change the bike, which is far from ideal in a 15 minute session on such a long circuit. Furthermore, we didn’t have time to swap the front tyre on the second bike, so I did my laps with a used one. It was a session where nothing went our way, so it’s disappointing to start from the fourth row. However, we have had the pace all weekend and I remain upbeat as our race pace is consistent, so now we just need to adjust the bike a little in warm up and then we will be ready. The race is a long one here but I feel comfortable with the bike plus I am confident of making some good overtakes at the beginning so I am still optimistic that we can have a competitive race tomorrow.”

Stefan Bradl second fastest Open bike in Austin qualifying

Stefan Bradl finished very close to the pole in qualifying in the Open class at the Austin track for the Athinà Forward Racing team.

After yesterday’s showers, today the weather has improved and, even if has stayed cloudy, both Athinà Forward Racing riders were able to better adapt to the challenging Texan track. Bradl, with a time of 2’04.275, finished just three tenths behind Barbera, first among the Open bikes. The German will start tomorrow from 14th position on the grid on the fifth row and is confident for the race where he will be fighting for victory in his class.

Loris Baz also made one step forward. He posted a good 2’05.214 which earned him the twentieth position on the grid. For the Frenchman the goal remains the points-zone.

Stefan Bradl

14th / 2’04.275 / 6 laps

“It was a good day of work. The goal was to get directly in Q2 but I cannot say I am not satisfied with the 14th place. We have a good potential and tomorrow I want to get as close as possible to the Top10. We will still do some small change in the warm-up to be even faster. The weather tomorrow will be the real question mark.”

Loris Baz

20th / 2’05.214 / 7 laps

“Not bad for my first time on this track. I learned so much. I have to improve a little my confidence with the front but I am happy with the result. We can do well; we will see the weather tomorrow.”

2015 MotoGP United States

Circuit of The Americas 11/04/2015

1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 2’02.135
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 2’02.474
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 2’02.540
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 2’02.573
5 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 2’02.613
6 Scott Redding Honda GBR 2’02.674
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 2’02.792
8 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 2’02.869
9 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 2’03.161
10 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 2’03.440
11 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 2’03.741
12 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 2’03.754
13 Hector Barbera Avintia ESP 2’03.926
14 Stefan Bradl Yamaha DE 2’04.275
15 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 2’04.313
20 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 2’05.214

Circuit Length:
5513

Weather:
Dry

Fastest Lap Ever:
2’02.773
(Marc Marquez, 13-4-2014 11:58:45)

Last Years Winner:
Marc Marquez